Dining is a Mobile and Social Activity

In yesterday’s post, we delved into new reports on how mobile is a driving force in how people research, discover and plan entertainment activities. In today’s post, we’ll look into how restaurants can leverage mobile devices and social media to gain more floor traffic and create new loyal patrons.

shutterstock_93328699● In the past 6 months 80% of smart phone users have searched for a restaurant via app
● 75% have chosen where to dine passed on search results
● Nearly 85% will look at more than one establishment before choosing where to eat
● 70% think it’s important to be able to see a menu on a mobile device
● 63% of consumers said they are less likely to dine at a restaurant that does not show their menu
● One in five diners will use social media while dining at a restaurant,
● 40% of consumers say they learn about food from web sites, food blogs or apps
● 21% of consumers look for discounts, coupons or deals on food while dining

What This Means To You

As a restaurant, your social reputation and search tactics are extremely important to your success. No one needs to tell a restaurateur how tough
the business is. Every day you’re in a competition to gain new diners and
keep loyal ones.
When was the last time you did a social reputation audit?
Go through your own social media sites and local directories to see what people are saying about you. Word of mouth reputation has spread to the digital space. Consumers trust the opinions of online friends and peers more than experts. So any unresolved issues and negative comments can cost you business. When people are comparing several restaurants, how many are going to choose the one with negative comments – especially ones that have been there for a long time. It’s important for you to try to mitigate these problems as soon as possible. Contact the offended party, be epithetic, let them know that you addressing their concerns and invite them back. Responding to them in a negative way is the second worst thing you can do – doing nothing at all is the worst.
When a diner gives you a positive review, utilize it. Thank them and ask for permission to use it. Put the virtual testimonial on your site, into your social presences and any other campaigns you may be using. Also, Facebook and twitter are not the only forms of social media available to you. Food is visual – Instagram and Pinterest are great places to deliver you message. Both of these sites index high for female users. This is important because women are the main influencer in most purchase decisions. Don’t forget about video, You Tube and Vimeo have large site visitation. Vine will put your video into the mobile decision-makers hands. If you are looking to drive lunch business, targeted ads on LinkedIn can be very beneficial (not site-wide ads, but geo-targeted banners). Be sure to include your menu across all digital platforms and make sure it’s prominently displays. Consumers on mobile devices have not patience to for hunting around on your site for things.
Do not forget about search.
Recently,  I heard a great line “the best place to hide a dead body is in on the second page of a Google search”.
It’s true; the vast majority of people do not look past the first page.
In fact, most don’t go past the first three or four organic listings. It may
be worth your while to investigate an SEO strategy. Talk to your web developer or hosting company for options.
Other things to think about.
What local events can you monetize with either take out or after-event specials?
How are you rewarding loyal customers?
When was the last time you visited your biggest competitor’s virtual and physical location?
Have you thought about in-store events such as wine tastings or cooking classes?
With so many choices, you have to give diners every opportunity to find you and give them a reason to try you. For more information on growing your business and increasing your loyal customer count, please contact:

Al Fiala
amfiala@gmail.com

Sources: Brandon Gaile; MarketingCharts.com; Chadwick Martin Bailey; ConstantContact

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2 responses to “Dining is a Mobile and Social Activity

  1. It’s pretty interesting while the world is going mobile, stats are on the rise and businesses profit’s are turbocharged.

    • Sam, thanks for adding to the conversation. Mobile can be a very powerful tool for nearly any business. The key is execution and matching your targets with tactics.

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